The Be At One group has been a success story of the economic downturn. Fun and cheap with a bar practically on every corner, they are the easy choice for a night of cocktails and giggles.
Be At One Smithfield occupies prime real estate right on the edge of Smithfield Market, and this bar sticks to the tried and tested look that has made this chain such a success. The bar is the centrepiece of the action, where the staff look to be enjoying themselves at least as much as the customers and row upon row of spirits sit messily – unashamedly so. And that’s what’s so great about Be At One – these bars have mastered the ‘lived in’ look. This is a place that sits closer to pub than bar when it comes to the aesthetic, with its dark woods and rich colour scheme of browns, creams and yellows. The place hasn’t been dressed up as something it’s not, and that’s all too rare these days.
Be At One is synonymous with fun, and the Smithfield bar is no different. This is a place where the bar staff are encouraged to be a little bit crazy and get involved in the action, from drinking games to cracking jokes with customers. It’s a real feel-good place where staff remember your name and how you like your drinks. It’s no wonder that Be At One has spawned some of the best cocktail barmen and women in the industry right now, offering great training for the future of the capital’s drinking scene.
The cocktail menu is expansive at Be At One, with a lengthy list of classics and twists on the old favourites. At full price you’re looking at £7-£8 a drink, but they regularly host incredible happy hours with BOGOF deals and cut-price cocktails that can drastically reduce the bill. In terms of the quality, the cocktails at Be At One Smithfield are good. They aren’t exactly premium but they are tasty, packed with a nice hit of alcohol and all-too easy to drink. The menu is divided into different sections depending on your own individual tastes, which makes choosing your drink quick and easy despite the huge volume of choice.
Especially good are the dessert-like cocktails. The Brazilian Monk, for example, is barely even a cocktail it’s so creamy and delightfully sickly. Comprising Frangelico, dark creme de cacao, Kahlua and two scoops of vanilla ice cream, it’s an alcoholic milkshake that will destroy your diet. The same goes for the Kahlua Banana (1/2 ripe banana, Kahlua, half and half, vanilla ice cream) - at least this one has fruit in it... that’s healthy, right? If you don’t like sickly sweet drinks then they do the whole range, from an alcohol-heavy Old Fashioned through to a sparkling Bellini.
The Last Word
Be At One has not only survived the recession, but has continued to grow throughout it. And it has done so as one of the best places for value for money cocktails in London.